Memory Loss: Ben and Michaela’s Story
To mark Headway’s Memory Loss: A campaign to remember, the husband of one of our clients has agreed to share their personal experiences of how their lives have been affected by his wife’s memory loss following a significant head trauma, and how they are coping with the long-term effects.
In 2013 Michaela was involved in a serious car accident which left her with severe and life-threatening injuries. Most significantly, in the long-term, was the traumatic head injury she sustained. While Michaela’s life continues to be severely affected by the legacy of her injuries, her husband Ben, reminds us that family and friends are also affected by those long-term after-effects.
“Since her accident, Michaela is very forgetful,” explains Ben. You’ll remind her to do two things and she’ll remember one but forgets the other. When I’m talking to her, she’ll often forget half of what’s been said before I’ve finished speaking.
“Routine is very important in helping her to cope with her memory loss, but it takes a long time for her to get used to new routines or even everyday tasks and she doesn’t always understand why things have changed.
“We recently had our first child and Michaela’s way of remembering feed times, and when the feed bottle needs to be emptied is to set alarms on her phone. She keeps a written log of every feed so she knows at the end of each day how much our daughter has had.”
He continues: “When it comes to shopping, Michaela will get me to check the online shopping order before she submits it so I can remind her of anything she has forgotten or just to check with her why some things are being ordered. She takes out a set amount of money each week so she can monitor her spending by looking at the physical cash. Initially she would use her bank card to pay for things, but her memory difficulties meant she really struggled to keep track of what she was spending.
“Whilst adjusting to these problems has not been easy for us, Fosters has always been very good at finding ways to help Michaela and has sent her to the right people to get the help she needs. One of the organisations Michaela has spoken to, at Fosters’ suggestion, was Headway, which helps people who have had brain injuries.
“Fosters has also really helped by following up conversations with Michaela in writing so she doesn’t have to try and remember everything or attempt to explain to me what she thinks she was told. We have always been pleased with their personal touch such as the time our solicitor, Steve Green, called up just to congratulate us on the birth of our daughter – we have never felt they were just working for us but that they were working with us.”
Head of Personal Injury at Fosters and Headway Panel Solicitor Steve Green added: “We are really pleased to be able to support Michaela and Ben through what has been a challenging period for them and their family.
“As this week of action from Headway aims to highlight, memory loss due to brain injury can have a huge impact on people’s lives – something we have seen as a common consequence affecting many of our brain injured clients over the years.
“We always try to make the claims process as easy as possible so those with memory-loss can navigate it without being put off by the process of obtaining compensation. As members of the Headway Panel we are very aware of the support they have in place to provide advice and help and we always recommend that clients engage with them to access that support.”
To contact our experienced personal injury department please call 0800 731 8539.
This article was produced on the 2nd October 2020 by our Personal Injury & Group Actions team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.